I'm beginning to feel a small fire of panic as I consider leaving Tokyo, leaving Japan. So, to try to get my spirits up, here are some things I'm looking forward to in the US.

1. Good beer. Beer here sucks, in general. There is a small microbrewery movement that is growing here, but overall the market is owned by Sapporo, Kirin, Asahi, and Suntory. The best of these, in my opinion, is Suntory, but they still suck. Better than Budweiser. But I'm looking forward to a Pilsner Urquell (which you can buy here, but you have to really search for) or Widmer Hefeweizen. Yeah, I know, neither are really microbrews. Shut up.

2. Good coffee. The best I've had so far is Starbucks, and many of you probably know what I think about Starbucks. There is good coffee here, really good, but it costs 800-1000 yen. And I have no idea if it is organic, shade-grown like Kalani, my favorite. But, to be honest, I'll be happy just to go to Muddy Waters in SF or Z's in Lawrence.

3. I can get away from Christmas music. Oops, nope, darn. Well, at least the grocery stores don't have jingles about fish or kids singing about some crap looped over and over again, blasting loud. Give me muzak any day.

4. Rainbow Foods!!!!! Yay. My favorite grocery store on earth! There are organic food stores here, but they are tiny and expensive. Organic foods haven't quite caught on here and are primarily geared towards the expat crowd in Roppongi. And that's a million miles from where I am. And I can't get good coffee there. Though I did find a good, organic beer. Pretty cheap one, too. But hard to find.

  1. Family and friends. But you knew that.
  2. I can get a job. Hopefully.

It's hard to come up with much more. I love the US, but it has its problems. There are definitely things about the US I absolutely hate, though I won't go into them. More than anything, though, I just feel I haven't had enough time here.

But I won't go on. I'll be back soon.